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The 'WSJ': No Longer My Paid Content Provider, Now My Sommelier

It's been an odd week for me and my relationship with the venerable Wall Street Journal:

  • On Tuesday, I cancelled my online sub, which, at $150, seemed not worth the money I've been spending on it.
  • On Wednesday, UPS delivered a box of wine from WSJ Wines, my husband's new way of getting a lot of wine (relatively) on the cheap.
  • And all week long, I've been cribbing content for free from AllThingsD, the WSJ's headline-making conference about digital, which features streamed interviews with, well, anyone who is anybody in media and technology, from NBC's Jeff Zucker to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer (below), who used the conference as the platform to launch Bing, the company's new "decision engine."
So, yes, I've been getting a lot of value out of the WSJ brand this week -- but not in ways that you might expect, and with the money being for wine instead of headlines. Huh? I suppose for those who follow our changed relationships with media brands, the biggest question about the transitioning of my connection to the WSJ is not whether the wine is any good, but whether I miss my online sub. With all of the great content the Journal is giving away, especially this week, the answer is unequivocally no.

So, while I have many reasons to wish for a subscription model for online newspaper content (not the least of which is that my husband works at a WSJ competitor), the truth is it doesn't take an online sub for me to experience the WSJ brand. Good news for me. Not necessarily good news for it.

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